Volume 44 Number 99
                    Produced: Sun Sep 26 20:09:59 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aleinu after Mincha
         [Lawrence Myers]
Extremely Minor Correction on Siyum on a Sefer of Tanakh
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
         [Batya Medad]
Hurricane Blessing
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kiddish customs (2)
         [Carl Singer, Martin Stern]
Public School Teaching Topics?
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin
         [Ben Katz]
Teimani customs
         [Perets Mett]
Third Person (2)
         [Bernard Katz, Jack Gross]
Yemenite customs - No repetition of Amida
         [Ira L. Jacobson]


From: Lawrence Myers <lawrence@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 12:55:39 +0100
Subject: Re: Aleinu after Mincha

>>>> 15) Aleinu is not said after Minchah.
>>> This was also the custom in Germany when Minchah was followed
>>> immediately by Ma'ariv.
>> I also saw this many years ago in the main Ashkenazi Shul in
>> Amsterdam.
> This is also the Italian practice.

I think this was the original practice of the United Synagogue in London
UK.  I believe the early editions of the Singers Siddur and all editions
of the Routledge Machzor omit Aleynu after Mincha.

Lawrence Myers 


From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 06:43:04 -0400
Subject: Extremely Minor Correction on Siyum on a Sefer of Tanakh

>From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
>A text has also been published by Rabbi Gavreal Bechhoffer (Rosh Kollel
>in Monsie, former Chicagoan whom I had the zechut of knowing) at the
>end of his commentary on Shmuel.
>[Note: R. Bechhoffer commentary on Shmuel is available on-line. See:
>        http://www.aishdas.org/rygb/education.htm
>and the link is available there. The format is in Davkawriter format.

The sefer is on Shoftim. I hope someday IY"H to get around to publishing
on Shmuel, but not as of yet...

Once we're doing corrections, although I am teaching in four
institutions and involved with two major publishing concerns, I am not
heading a Kollel in Monsey :-)



From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 14:47:39 +0200
Subject: Glassware

I don't think that it had to do with expense.  My parents didn't keep a
kosher home until a few months before I got married, and I remember a
glass plate in the closet.  It was used for my grandfather's visits
during the time he was a widow, spring 1952 until he died less than a
year later.



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 01:14:59 +0200
Subject: Hurricane Blessing

Just a reminder to those in Florida and other places where the
hurricanes have been, the blessing to be said over a hurricane ("ruchot
she-nashvu b'za'af") is "oseh ma'aseh breishit", OH 227:1 - although
with the winds over 100 MPH, maybe a LOR could paskin that it should be
"she'kocho ug'vurato...", see there the MB 227:4.

Yisrael Medad


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 07:13:55 -0400
Subject: Kiddish customs

Perets Mett wrote:
> It is certainly the custom in our family! Our boys all make their own
> Kiddush from barmitsvo onwards.
> And I am sure we are not the only family to have this custom

The question arises re: what you do socially (and perhaps there's an
halachic implication) if you and your boys are invited for Shabbos at
someone else's home -- and their minhag is that only one kiddush (the
host) or only kiddish for host and for you (grown-up heads of

Socially, do you inform them (and when) that it is your minhag that all
of my boys above barmtizva make their own kiddish.  Do you remind your
sons that in the event they're not offered opportunity to make their own
kiddish they should "go with the flow" (a) be yotzei the hosts, (b) be
yotzei yours OR (c) speak up?

Carl Singer

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 12:22:38 +0100
Subject: Re: Kiddish customs

on 26/9/04 11:25 am, Perets Mett <p.mett@...> wrote:
> It is certainly the custom in our family! Our boys all make their own
> Kiddush from barmitsvo onwards.
> And I am sure we are not the only family to have this custom

I am grateful for the information on Perets' minhag but note that he
seems to imply that his wife and post-batmitsvah daughters do not do
so. However, the point I was really trying to make was that those with
such a custom see it as a reshut (permission) for several people to make
kiddush separately not that it is a chovah (obligation) to do so. Hence
they would not take offence if a guest asked to be included in the
kiddush made by the baal habayit.

Those with the opposite custom might see it as a chovah for one person
to make kiddush for the whole assembly because of 'berov am hadrat
Melekh" and therefore consider the alternative as assur (prohibited)
because of a possible berakhah levatalah. Since there is some authority
for it, derekh erets would dictate allowing a guest to make kiddush
after the host if he is particular to do so since, after all, the
guest's kiddush will not affect the host in such a situation.

Martin Stern


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 19:13:39 -0700
Subject: Public School Teaching Topics?

Yitzchok  Kahn <mi_kahn@...> V44 N78:
> I am becoming a NYC public high school history/social studies teacher.
> I am wondering how I am supposed to deal with the issue of teaching the
> evolutionary origins of man, which to me are kfirah.
> ...
> How do I teach abortion?

Well, first of all, there are at least three intertwined issues here.

Re. being a public school teacher--I am a public school teacher, and as
a state employee, it behooves us all to keep religious opinions out of
the classroom.  That is true for a Christian teacher who wants to preach
to Jewish children, and it is true for us as well.  As a minority
religion, it is only to our benefit to keep strict separation of Church
and State.

Second, evolution.  I'm not sure what you mean by it being "to
me...kfirah".  Certainly, there are Orthodox viewpoints that Gd made the
world according to the order and epochs of time in an 'evolution' way.
There is overwhelming evidence for natural selection and evolution,
including definite antibiotic-resistant bacteria development.

If you are worried that someone is going to raise a 19th century opinion
about monkeys turning into people, I think you don't really have to
worry about that (and no one who was educated ever thought that,
anyway).  As a humanities HS teacher, I'm not sure that you would be
teaching evolutionary biology anyway.  Surely you don't object to the
evidence of humanity originating on one continent (Africa) and spreading
out...?  That is very consistent with Tanach, I think.

Third, abortion.  Again, as a humanities teacher, what will you be
teaching that could possibly relate to abortion?  (Are you going to be
an advisor or something, and have to advise pregnant teens about their
options?  I would try to avoid such a post, if possible.)  Any
historical approach would have to recognize the reproductive rights
struggle, including death and disease and political activity.  But not
really including a teacher's opinion about abortion....

Which brings me to a related concern--surely you are not suggesting that
abortion is antithetical to halakha.  Indeed, there are cases where
abortion is required by halakha (which means, actually, that any kind of
Christian "pro-life in all cases" stance is not halakhically

As a historian, it will be important for you to report accurately that
in all societies, women abort pregnancies.  In societies where it is
taboo, they often die.  These are facts...there are various spins
possible, of course.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 12:35:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin

>Middle ages??  It's all quite clear from the cited page in Menachos.
>1. There is a Beraisa that states the proper order.  200 CE at latest.
>(Rashi and R. Tam disagree over how to parse the text, and what physical
>order emerges: "[A B C D]", or "[A B D C]" -- but both agree that the
>Beraisa is establishing a unique canonical order.)

         I will try to clarify what I meant.  No one until the middle
ages seemed to care whether it was ABCD or ABDC.  Both were acceptable.
It was only after that time that one was felt to be right and the other
wrong, accounting for the overwhelming acceptance of rashi's tefillin.
This is what I find interesting.  There are many implications of these
data (e.g., was there a strive to uniformity?  was it because people
were becoming increasingly particular [the interpretation I favor]?).

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 23:32:02 +0100
Subject: Teimani customs

Leah Aharoni wrote:

> I asked my Yemenite husband about some of the minhagim mentioned by
> Shmuel Himelstein.
> - 21 psukim skipped in targum include maase Reuven and Bilha and some
> of the klalot (curses).

As required by Mishno Megilo  4:10

Perets Mett


From: Bernard Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 12:20:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Third Person

  Akiva Miller points out that we often use both second person and
  third person in the same sentence:

> This is most easily seen in any short bracha, which begins
> "Blessed are YOU", but then goes on to talk *about* G-d -- "Who brought
> bread", "Who created the...", or whatever.

  In fact, there is a standard grammatical anomaly in the text of all
  of the Birkhot HaMitzvot, i.e., the blessings recited before the
  performance of a mitzvah, though it is by no means exclusive to just
  these Berakhot.

  The basic structure of Birkhot HaMitzvot runs as follows:

     Baruch Atah Adoshem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam Asher Kideshanu
     B'mitzvotav Vitzivanu . . . 

  This is standardly translated into English as:

     Blessed are You, HASHEM our God, King of the Universe, who has
     sanctified us through His commandments and has commanded us . . . 

  What we may fail to notice, perhaps as a result of familiarity, is
  that this formula is ungrammatical: it switches from the second
  person "Blessed are You, HASHEM our God, King of the Universe" to
  the third person "who has sanctified us through His commandments and
  has commanded us . . . ".   To fit grammatically, the latter part
  should read: who have sanctified us through Your commandments and
  have commanded us . . . .

  My point, of course, is not about the grammar of the English
  translation, which I take to be accurate, but about the grammar of
  the Hebrew original.  A grammatically consistent formulation of 
  the Hebrew text would, I believe, run as follows:

     Baruch Atah Adoshem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam Asher Kidashtanu
     B'mitzvotekha Vitzivitanu . . . 

  I understand, however, that the switch was intentional, i.e., that
  the authors who first formulated these blessings (the men of the
  Great Assembly) knew exactly what they were doing, and that their
  aim was to emphasize an important theological point: the use of the
  second person underscores God's immanence while the use of the third
  person His transcendence.   

  Bernard Katz
  Department of Philosophy
  University of Toronto

From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 05:08:10 -0400
Subject: re: Third Person

A familiar example of such a shift is in Moshe's prayer in Vay'chal (Ex.
34:9). The "Shem Adnus" ("Master": aleph dalet nun yod) appears twice:
 -- in 2nd person (vocative, in apposition to "You") in the introduction:
            im na matzati chen _b'eynecha_ D'
 -- in 3rd person in expressing the request"
            _yelech_ na D' b'kirbenu

    The first part related to the status Moshe had personally achieved as
"My servant Moshe, trusted throughout My house".
    The latter relates to Klal Yisrael, which had just distanced itself.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 13:41:51 +0200
Subject: Re: Yemenite customs - No repetition of Amida

I belive it is a Baladi custom for all weekday minha prayers.  Or so it
seems, since I have seen this on a mid-day minha in a Baladi synagogue.

And I agree that all generalizations are false, including this one.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


End of Volume 44 Issue 99